The elected political representatives of Ika Nation at the State and National Assemblies have been charged to take seriously the ban on motorcycle (Okada) business in the two Ika Local Government Areas of the state as a direct challenge on them to pressurize the state government to lift the ban for the relief of the worsening situation forced down on the rural populace.
The charge was given by the monarch of Owa kingdom HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP), in Owa palace, Owa-Oyibu, headquarters of Ika North Local Government Area of the state recently.
Obi Efeizomor, addressing the newsmen who called on him on the resumption of the ban on motorcycle operation, wondered why the representatives of the people of Ika nation at State and National Assemblies did not raise the voice of discontent and rejection when the ban was being handed down on the masses who, he said, constitute the electorate in the election year.
Still speaking in a grief laden tone, Obi Efeizomor said that the ban was a slap on the integrity of the traditional rulers, the law enforcement agents and the military in the areas, adding “why did the government not call town hall meeting or call on the motorcycle operators to find lasting solution to the alleged crime commission if it is because of crime commission that made the government ban motorcycle operation?”
Obi Efeizomor queried what yardstick did the state government use that showed that crime commission is more in Ika nation than any other ethnic nationality or is ban on Okada are the manifestoes of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He bemoaned the ugly situation where the task force went into shops and people’s premises to carry motorcycles simply because Okada operation is banned.
The monarch pointed out that in the areas, that more than 4,000 jobless youths subsisting on Okada (motorcycle) operations have been callously thrown out of business which, he said, enabled them to feed their immediate families and dependants.
Obi Efeizomor who was flanked This Day Newspaper’s proprietor’s mother, Dame Margret Obaigbena, queried, “how many of the children of those persons who banned Okada business are in Okada business?’, adding “let the government establish industries/factories to the teeming youths as well rehabilitate the roads and streets in the two Ika Local Government Areas before banning Okada.
While stating that the ban of motorcycle (Okada) should not have been the State Government’s priority for the people, the monarch called on the State Government to call town hall meeting where Okada riders would be present, to find solution for crime commission in the areas.
When the newsmen visited the motorcycle dealers at Abraka road, Boji-Boji Owa in the area, the chairman and his motorcycle mechanics association lamented that more than 78 motorcycle dealers have been thrown out of business.
The motorcycle dealers chairman further lamented that billions of naira invested on the motorcycle business would go down the drains if the ban was not lifted.
Meanwhile, many pupils and teachers find it difficult to reach their schools, civil servants, market women and farmers trek some kilometres before getting to their schools, offices and farms.